Mariners Analysis

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Is Franklin pitching poorly?

A lot of fans have been critical of Franklin this season. Certainly watching the M's fall to the Tigers 4-2 today after falling behind quickly yet again was aggravating to watch. And certainly if you asked Ryan, he'd tell you he is pitching poorly.

But where does Franklin rank on the list of M's problems right now? Many people felt his ERA would go up without a record-setting defense behind him. What should we expect from Mr. Franklin?

We do know he-

  • Was never a highly rated prospect coming through the system.
  • Is the number 4 starter, and is somewhat of a surprise to have developed into a starter after being pegged as a long reliever at best.
  • Doesn't cost the Mariners much money.
  • Didn't come to the M's as part of a disputed trade.
  • Had the tenth lowest ERA in the AL last year.

To be honest, if Franklin (as a cheap #4 starter) keeps me in the ballgame, I am a happy camper. While I don't like losing to the Tigers 4-2, I have more of a problem with the offense scoring 2 runs against a 19 game loser last year than I do with Mr. Franklin. His ERA today is 5.46, which is high but hardly the cause for the M's start this year. I'm much more concerned with Pinero right now than I am Franklin.

So in summary, I want my #4 starter to give me a chance to win ballgames. I don't really care how many strikeouts he has per 9 innings, or what his fly-ball ratio is, I just want to be IN THE GAME. If we can get the bullpen where it should be, I think Franklin will be just fine this season, regardless of who is playing center.